Can't get prospects to pay for hosting

10 replies
Hi everybody,

I am trying my hand on giving free websites to prospects with no websites or bad websites.

My issue is in the beginning they seem very interested but the time I send them an email asking them to allow me to host and maintain the website for a small fee of $17, it becomes the last time I hear from them.

I mean I am giving these guys a free website (one that people easily sell for at least $300) and they are still not willing to pay just $17/month.
#hosting #pay #prospects
  • Profile picture of the author Alex Makarski
    When you target bottom-of-the-barrel customers, don't get too surprised when they start acting like bottom-of-the-barrel customers.
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    "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." -Confucius

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  • Profile picture of the author maxrezn
    I don't ever recommend working for free or close to free...people will associate you and your worth with your work and it's price.
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  • Profile picture of the author jtchaschowy
    FREE is cancer for your business.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sherry Han
      Stay away from businesses who still don't have a website in this day and age!

      Those people simply don't get it. For whatever reason they've stayed away from the Internet for this long already. They either don't believe it works, or think that word of mouth is still the only/best way to get new business. Chances are they're not going to change their minds, at least not because of you. If some of them turn around in the future, it's on their own terms.

      You'll find that most of these people are insanely stubborn and difficult to deal with, period. Avoid them like the plague!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Martin
    Instead of marketing a free website, why not advertise a $50 or $100 website with the hosting charges included? You'd still be able to find the similar prospects who are willing to throw a few bucks over. If you're going to shoot for those kinds of clients you might as well make a system where you charge a tiny fee and have the hosting included.

    Hell, you could even advertise $17.00 websites - that way they're guaranteed to cover the hosting in the first place -- and who could turn down a $17 website? Make sure they know the typical value and price of that kind of service though. Let them know that they're saving $400 or however much you want to tell them the service would usually cost.

    Best of luck.
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    "Be the hero of your own movie."
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  • Profile picture of the author danieldot
    It is very obvious that people wont accept if we charge for any services that we are doing it for free. I am sure they will return back to you and practically speaking they won't find any other source to to run their website for free of cost.
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    Do not wait for the opportunity to come, just create the opportunity.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    Originally Posted by Anoopchawla View Post

    Hi everybody,

    I am trying my hand on giving free websites to prospects with no websites or bad websites.

    My issue is in the beginning they seem very interested but the time I send them an email asking them to allow me to host and maintain the website for a small fee of $17, it becomes the last time I hear from them.

    I mean I am giving these guys a free website (one that people easily sell for at least $300) and they are still not willing to pay just $17/month.
    It's not that your offer is bad... it's not that they aren't
    interested... it's that you've failed to present it properly.

    From what you've written it appears that you've first offered
    them the free site the when they say yes you ask them to pay
    for hosting.

    In their minds it was an underhanded, dishonest tactic. You offered
    something free only to then tell them they have to pay something in
    order to use the free thing.

    Make the entire offer up front. Put limiting factors on it (the first
    20 to respond will get this limited offer!) something like that.

    This is a no-brainer if presented properly. You haven't presented it properly.

    Go back to work.
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    If you knew what I know you'd be doing what I do...
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  • Profile picture of the author LasseKohau
    Put up websites for 499 dollars and include an upsell hosting package for 19 dollars a month. ( + security package further 10 dollars a month)

    Raise your barrier for customer segmentation and dont waste your time with customers, who eihter dont want to pay or havent got the funds or mind for running a profitable business.

    Low barriere customers will create nothing but headaches to your business, they complain, dont have money, dont pay on time, wont talk good on your services etc.


    I cant remember his name by now, but one of the big names in IM did a wonderful job of explaining the Boston matrice in customer selection - only pick the star group to work with....

    Maybe one of the other warriors can relate to the youtube videoes. ?

    rgs, Lasse
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  • Profile picture of the author Auzan
    Banned
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author MarkJez
      Hi Anoop,

      Giving away a product free on the front-end (a website in this case) and then making money on the back-end is a well established, proven business model that has made a lot of companies (and individuals) extremely wealthy.

      Examples are mobile phone companies which give away a free mobile phone, and charge monthly line rental. And some airlines which provide free air-tickets but make money on the in-flight drinks, movie, baggage re-claim etc.

      (For more details on this unusual business model - read the 2009 book called "FREE - How today's smartest businesses profit by giving something for nothing" By Chris Anderson (Who also wrote a famous book about internet searches called "The long-tail" which you may have heard of).

      HOWEVER, because the word "Free" is so powerful, you have to be very careful as to how you use it and how to maintain your posture. As mentioned above, you can end up getting nightmare clients that cause a lot of problems.

      What might help you is the following two tips...

      1) You use the "puppy dog" approach. In other words you allow your clients to have use of the websites 100% for free for the first couple of months (no hosting fees, or any other charges whatsoever). Then when it comes round to them paying their $17 per month, they should be "attached" to their new website, and even have it generating new leads and customers for them. They will not want to give it up!!

      2) You become very selective as to whom you take on as clients. You could say in your sales literature, that you don't take everyone on as a client, and that they have to fulfil certain criteria. (What you are doing is filtering out the potential nightmare clients). You could use the phrase "We need to see if we are a good fit for each other".

      If your potential clients realise that they may not meet your criteria then this causes scarcity, and they think they could lose out, and then your potential client will want your free website even more!!!

      In addition, if you get your client to jump through a few hoops, they will value the offer even more.....

      People have the mindset that there is nothing free in life, and that if something is free, then there must be a catch!

      If you come along with your free websites and show them that there is indeed a catch (i.e. monthly hosting fees and they must meet your standards) - then the takeup of your offer should be higher.

      Worth testing I think....
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  • Profile picture of the author Anoopchawla
    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the valuable advice.

    I was wondering should I tell clients after the first conversation that they must host with us to get the free website, or should I wait till I complete the website for them, show it to them and then tell them that there is a catch.
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